Cynthia Johnson, Ph.D.

Full CV

BIOGRAPHY Johnson

 Cynthia Rheney Johnson, PhD joined the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology as an Associate Professor in January, 2015.   She came to UF from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine where she was the Director of the Autism Center at Children’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Education. Dr. Johnson received her doctoral degree from the University of South Carolina. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in child psychology and applied behavior analysis. She is currently the principal investigator of two NIH-funded grant studying the efficacy of parent training in 1) the treatment of feeding problems and 2) the treatment of disruptive behaviors in young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She recently completed a NIH-funded study on the treatment of sleep disturbances in young children with ASD as well as a HRSA funded study on nutrition in children with ASD. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities. Dr. Johnson is a Pennsylvania licensed psychologist and a board-certified behavior analyst- doctoral level.

RESEARCH FOCUS

Dr. Johnson’s clinical and research focus on young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). She has conducted research in the assessment and both behavioral and medication treatments for children with ASD and other developmental disorders. Treatment studies have targeted the often co-occurring / associated problems in ASD to include disruptive behaviors, sleep disturbances and feeding problems. Dr. Johnson has been an investigator on studies of nutrition in children with ASD as well as the study of complementary treatments often used but in need of empirical study. Dr. Johnson is interested in the study of the broader dissemination of treatments to young children with ASD as well as the adaptation of interventions for even younger children with ASD and those who are minimally verbal.

RESEARCH GRANTS

ACTIVE

Title:               Treatment of Feeding Problems in Children with Autism
Source:           National Institute of Mental Health
PI:                    Cynthia R. Johnson
Duration:         12/2013-1/2016
This Collaborative R34 will develop and provide an initial test of efficacy of a parent training program to target feeding problems in children with autism

Title:                Randomized Trial of Parent Training for Young Children with Autism
Source:           National Institute of Mental Health
PI:                    Cynthia R. Johnson
Duration          1/10-12/14; 12/14-12/15 – No cost extension
This is a multisite project that will study the efficacy of a structured parent training in young children with pervasive and developmental disorders who suffer from tantrums, aggression, self-injury and noncompliance. A parent training program will be compared to a structured parent educational program that will serve as the control group.

RECENTLY COMPLETED

Title:                Treatment of Sleep Disturbance in Young Children with Autism
Source:           National Institute of Mental Health
PI:                    Cynthia R. Johnson
Duration          12/09-11/12
This was a study of the efficacy of a behavioral parent training program as a possible treatment for sleep problems in young children with autism.

Title:                 Autism Intervention Research Network for Physical Health: Diet and Nutrition in   Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Source:           Human Resources and Health Services
PI:                    James Perrin
Site PI             Cynthia R. Johnson
Duration:         12/2009-08/2011
This multisite project explored the extent of medical issues in children with autism spectrum disorders. Our site specifically examined the nutritional status

REPRESENTATIVE PUBLICATIONS

Bearss, K. Johnson, C.R., Smith, T., Lecavalier, L., Swiezy, N., Aman, M….Scahill, L. (2015). Effect of parent training vs parent education on behavioral problems in children with autism spectrum disorder: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 313, 1524-1533.

 Johnson, C.R., Foldes, E., DeMand, A., Brooks, M.M. (in press). Behavioral parent training to address feeding problems in children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities.

DeMand, A., Johnson, C.R., & Foldes, E. (in press). Psychometric properties of the Brief Autism Mealtime Behaviors Inventory. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

 Johnson, C.R., Turner, K., Stewart, P., Shui, A., Macklin, E., James, J., Johnson, S. Manning Courtney, P., Hyman, S.L. (2014). Relationship between feeding problems, behavioral characteristics, and nutritional quality in children with ASD. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 44, 2175–2184.

Johnson, C.R., Turner, K.S., Foldes, E., Brooks, M.M., Kronk, R. & Wiggs, L. (2013). Behavioral Parent training to address sleep disturbances in young children with autism spectrum disorder: A pilot trial. Sleep Medicine, 14, 995-1004.

Bearss, K., Johnson, C.R., Handen, B.L., Smith, T., Scahill, L. (2013). A pilot study of parent training in young children with autism spectrum disorders and disruptive behaviors. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43, 829-840. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-012-1624-7.

Handen, B.L., Johnson, C.R., Butter, E.M., Lecavalier, L., Scahill, L., Aman, M.G., McDougle, C.J., et al. (2013). Use of a direct observational measure in a trial of risperidone and apparent training in children with pervasive developmental disorders. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 25, 355-37. DOI: 10.007/s10882-012-936-y.

Bearss, K., Lecavalier, L., Minshawi, N., Johnson, C.R., Smith, T., Handen, B. et al. (2013). Toward an exportable parent training program for disruptive behaviors in autism spectrum disorders. Neuropsychiatry, 3, 169-80.

Johnson, C.R., Turner, K., Foldes, E., Malow, B. & Wiggs. L. (2012). Comparison of sleep questionnaires in the assessment of sleep disturbances in children with autism spectrum disorders. Sleep Medicine, 13, 795-801. DOI:10.1016/j.sleep.2012.03.005.

Scahill, L., McDougle, C., Aman, M, Johnson, C., Handen, B., Bearss, K., Butter, E., et al. (2012). Effects of risperidone and parent training on adaptive functioning in children with pervasive developmental disorders and serious behavioral problems . Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,51(2), 136-46. DOI:10.1016/j.jaac.2011.11.010

Hyman, S.L., Stewart, P., Schmidt, B., Cain, U., Lemcke, N., Foley, J., Peck, R., Clemons, T., Reynolds, Johnson, C.R. et al. (2012). Nutrient intake from food in children with autism. Pediatrics, 130, S145-S153. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-0900L.

Reynolds, A, Krebs, N., Stewart, P.A., Austin, H., Johnson, S. PhD1, Withrow, N., Molloy, C., James, J., Johnson, C.R., et al. (2012). Iron Status in Children with ASD, an ATN/AIR-P Collaborative Study of Diet and Nutrition in Children with ASD. Pediatrics, 130, S154 -S159. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-0900M.

Turner, K. & Johnson, C.R. (2012). Behavioral interventions to address sleep disturbances in children with autism spectrum disorders: A review. Topics in early childhood special education, 33, 144-152. DOI:10.1177/0271121412446204.

Aman, M.G., McDougle, C.J., Scahill, L., Handen, B.L., Arnold, L.E., Johnson, C.R., Stigler, K. et al. (2009). Medication and parent training in children with pervasive developmental disorders and serious behavior problems: Results from a clinical trial. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 48, 1143-1154. DOI:  10.1097/CHI.0b013e3181bfd669.

 Johnson, C.R. , Handen, B.L., Zimmer, M., & Sacco, K. (2010). Polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in young children with autism. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 22, 1-10.

Handen, B.L., Johnson, C.R., & McAuliffe-Bellin, S., & Hardan, A. (2010). Safety and efficacy of donepezil in children and adolescents with autism: Behavioral measures. International Journal of Child and Adolescent Health, 2, 125-134. DOI:  10.1089/cap.2010.0024.

White, S.W., Albano, A.M., Johnson, C.R., Kasari, C., Ollendick, T., Klin, A., Oswald, D. & Scahill, L. (2010). Treating anxiety and social deficits in high functioning autism: Development of a cognitive-behavioral intervention program.   Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 13, 77-90. DOI: 10.1007/s10567-009-0062-3

 Johnson, C.R., Handen, B.L., Zimmer, M., Sacco, K., & Turner, K. (2011). Effect of gluten free / casein free diet in young children with autism: A pilot study. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 23, 213-225. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10882-010-9217-x.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • American Psychological Association
  • Association for Behavior Analysis
  • Society for Research in Child Development
  • International Society for Autism Research